Low Buy 2022 Review – Did it Work?

2022 was the year I decided to do a Low Buy challenge. I tried my best to use up what I have in my skincare collection and purchase more intentionally. The purpose for this Low Buy Year was to declutter back-burner beauty products, have mental clarity and enjoy more with less.

Now that we are in the new year, it’s time to review my Low Buy 2022 challenge for skincare (and anything else in my life). I will share the total number of empties and purchases, the wins and fails and my overall experience.

Low Buy Recap

Low Buy Rules

  1. No More Freebies
  2. Remove Temptations
  3. Let It Marinate
  4. Empty Before Newbie
  5. No Makeup (unless something is emptied and there’s no replacement eg. mascara)

How I Would Hold Myself Accountable

Originally started as:

  1. Seasonal Empties + Check-In/Update
  2. Empties and Newbies (A.K.A. Empties and Hauls)
  3. Speak to Someone Before Purchasing (Husband or Friends)

Morphed into:

  1. Check-In/Update
  2. Seasonal Empties
  3. Hauls
  4. Speak to Someone Before Purchasing (Husband or Friends)

Low Buy 2022 Product Roundup

Total Empties: 57

Total Purchases: 27 (29 total – 2 for buying for someone else)

Low Buy 2022 Wins and Fails

Low Buy Wins

I did not accept any PR items.

Throughout 2022 I was emailed every so often about campaigns, items to review, etc. Frankly, none came around that I was very interested in, so it was easy to decline the offer.

23/27 Items Were Not Impulse Purchases.

77% of my purchases of 2022 were as intentional as possible. Whenever I was interested in something, I always gave myself at least a few days and spoke to my husband or friend about it. If I “let it marinate”, sometimes I completely forgot about what it was that I felt the urge to buy. If I spoke to someone, I always convinced myself to not buy something rather than who I was talking to. As for the 4/27 impulse purchases, the 23%, the 2 I have tried so far have been rotating in my skincare routine without issue. 2 Are also items I could have just purchased later on when I was close to emptying its previous version in my collection. Note, I completely forgot to officially feature a purchase in a haul, and that’s the Avene Very High Protection Cream SPF50+. I did include it in my total count.

I Decluttered a lot of makeup.

2022 was the year I found my go-to look that is suitable for all occasions. When I tried to do something new, I always ended up removing the makeup and sticking to my tried and true. The only makeup item I purchased in 2022 was in December, and it was a mascara.

Majority of empties were from my skincare collection and not purchases in 2022.

The only new item I emptied was my go-to moisturizer that both me and my husband use.

Shared my empties and hauls for the year.

I have posts for all of the empties and hauls I’ve done. Everything in and out of my skincare stash has been documented and made public! Check out all the empties and hauls of 2022 below:

Shared seasonal updates on my Low Buy year.

I shared my thoughts throughout the year of 2022 on how I was feeling about the Low Buy Challenge. Check out my previous updates to get an idea of how the Low Buy challenge went throughout the year:

Low Buy Fails

I still purchased more skincare than I should have.

My non-impulse purchases were under 80% (queue in upbringing to get As all the time). Comparing hauls to empties, my purchases make up around 47% of products replaced in my skincare collection. When I first did the math on empties and purchases, I had 42%. Revising and revising, it went to 43%, 45%, and now it’s 47%. It’s as if I went two steps forward, one step back. My silver lining to this fail is that it’s at least under 50% and nowhere near 100% of my empties being replaced.

I used more of what I bought in 2022 in my skincare routine than what was in my skincare collection.

As soon as I received the new and exciting product, I immediately became bored of whatever I was trying to use up and cast it aside. When I tried to rotate an older product in my skincare collection, it was short-lived. I also catch myself being wary of using up certain skincare because I find it may be difficult to buy in the future. I need to not take skincare so seriously in this regard and know that none of this is ever a need. Considering the skincare market nowadays, there’s always another product just as similar that will be available.

Not all temptations were removed.

I started following Instagram accounts again and participating in giveaways. One instance, I actually ended up winning an item which I featured in my 2nd Haul of 2022. I also can’t commit to un-following some Youtubers, whom I admit feed my desire to try something new. On Instagram, I once again unfollowed some accounts and did reduce my skincare content intake in general. I recently read Dr. Natalia Spiering’s book, Skintelligent, which talks about Big Skincare and served as a good reminder of what it really takes to have good skin.

Completely failed the “Empty before Newbie” rule.

I found it difficult to finish one item before opening another. I always get excited trying something new, and I always want to compare the newer item with the older item. Sometimes I also like having variety of a similar products, such as sunscreen. I found this to be the most difficult rule to follow, especially as someone who creates skincare content. Content where sharing similarities, differences and nuances between products are appreciated in reviews.

Takeaways of a Low Buy Year

Controls knee-jerk spending.

My rules helped me think twice about what I’m buying; Whether or not I truly needed it or if it was just a for fun purchase.

Realize one’s spending habits.

Every Haul I made in 2022, the products were opened and used right away. The downside to this is that I left products I already had opened on the back-burner. This goes against my goal for a low buy.

Helps to remove F.O.M.O.O.S. – Fear Of Missing Out On Skincare.

Removing temptations, I was not spending so much time paying attention to what’s trendy online. I just focused on my skin and its needs. In my second Low Buy Update, I even touched upon how my interests expanded beyond skincare. I learned about F.O.M.O.O.S. from Dr. Natalia Spierings’ Instagram post. The only time I truly felt the desire to spend and try something new was when I was watching skincare videos on Youtube again.

Makes you enjoy what you already have.

I fixated a lot more on what I already had than what I didn’t, hence why I was able to empty out so much skincare from my collection. My skincare collection actually no longer takes up storage space, all fit in my bathroom cabinet and drawers! I understand what I like and dislike in my skincare routine. I have also come to enjoy a more minimal skincare routine of cleansing, moisturizing, and SPF.

My Overall Experience of a Low Buy

2022 as a Low Buy year was overall a good exercise. It helped me to bring to the front of my mind what has been bothering me for years and finally act on it. In return, I learned a lot about myself – products I like to use, my spending habits and what’s more important to me than having a large collection of skincare. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy using my actives, but it is quite the mental shift from where I started. From maximalist, must try all the actives, hot new ingredients, sunscreens – to appreciating less, and wanting even less. Having all the noise removed and sticking to what’s been working for me.

Near the end of 2022, I was clearly a mixed bag of emotions. I became very tired from forcing myself to use products while risking the health of my skin. However, my biggest skincare haul was at the end of the year, around the same time I was a month into my slow skincare routine. While I hauled more than I thought I would in 2022, this was only my first year trying a Low Buy with skincare and I will not let the fails bring me down. They serve as insights that I will be sure to remember in 2023.

Closing Thoughts on My First Low Buy Year

As mentioned, I’ve been really enjoying using less skincare. So much so, my baseline skincare routine of 5 years has changed. My outlook on skincare has also changed – or rather solidified since doing a Low Buy year. I’ve been thinking a certain way for a while about this stuff – since my “skincare plateau” in 2021. Near the end of 2022, it finally made more sense to me why I was feeling this way. I said this before, but now with this big mental shift when it comes to skincare, I feel more desperate than ever to finish up my back-burner skincare.

If you’re interested in a Low Buy year, be sure to check out the rules I created for myself and the ways I would hold myself accountable in my 2022 post:

My Low Buy Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

As always, I hope you find content like this helpful and informative. Let me know in the comments down below if you decide to do a Low Buy Year for 2023! I’ll be sharing my Low Buy 2023 plan hopefully by the end of the month or in March.

xo, M

Slowvember: Taking it Slow with Skincare

I know this is a good time of year to stock up on skincare favourites. There are also good deals on expensive skincare products we’ve been wanting to try. But I’d like to share something different this year with those of you in pursuit to healthier skin: taking it slow with skincare.

What is Slow Skincare?

Slow skincare is exactly like how it sounds – being slow with skincare πŸ˜€ Just chill and take it easy with your skincare routine and spending. Start off with the basics and stick to it. Don’t complicate it by including things for the sake of “results”. There’s no need for the latest and greatest trendy ingredients. Start with a 3-step routine rather than a 10-step one. You do not need a skincare collection of 50+ products *points to self* to feel like you’re doing something right.

Why I’m Taking it Slow

In October, I recovered my skin using multiple hydrating, soothing and barrier repairing products. It seemed like an excessive skincare routine. However I was familiar with all the products applied and knew none would compromise my skin. For the sake of this Low Buy Year, I was also trying to use up my products since we are now in the last stretch of 2022.

A before and after collage. Left panel is Michelle's skin showing an allergic reaction. Left panel is Michelle's skin with soothing products applied and less redness.
*Sorry about the right side being slightly blurry but I think this before and after still get’s the point across.
Left side: allergic reaction after doing what I thought was a “gentle” skincare routine. Right side: Reapplied soothing skincare hours after the first skincare routine.

The 2 days before writing this post, my skin had an allergic reaction. It was caused by my skincare routine which consisted of what I thought were gentle products. To further explain, I use them at times when my skin has breakouts or feels sensitive. I even used them in my post-laser skincare routine when my skin could not handle actives like tretinoin. The skincare products I used had a good repetoire. I was shocked that my skin had such a negative reaction to what I thought was a gentle skincare routine. To recover my skin, I had to wash my face, apply moisturizer and a barrier repair cream. Thankfully, that same day my skin eventually calmed down and was no longer red.

Now today, I again thought I did a gentle skincare routine. Cleanse, tone, moisturize mixed with a bit of a soothing ointment. My skin has been just red from heat and I have red marks on my face. I again had to recleanse my face, misted with thermal water, and applied a repairing balm.

We’re in the second last month of 2022, and my skin has been showing nothing but discontent towards me. I decided for the rest of November, I’m going to make it a Slowvember when it comes to my skincare.

Fast Skincare, Falling into the Beauty Trap

The skincare market has grown substantially since I was a preteen. When I was first trying to tackle my acne, my knowledge of skincare was non-existent and gentle drugstore products were limited. I did not cleanse my face well, I overused actives, I did not respect my skin’s barrier. As my knowledge grew, I was also no longer a broke student, so skincare became more accessible. You bet I did (and still do) my best to get my acne under control. It’s the reason I started content creating in the first place – to share my trials and tribulations with beauty as well as my clear skin journey.

I definitely lost myself in the beauty trap along my pursuit to clear skin. In my Low Buy Year post, I spoke of what caused me to steer off the path for a bit and how I’m doing a Low Buy challenge to try to get myself back on track. Please check it out if you haven’t already!

My Low Buy Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

Examples of the Power of Slow Skincare

Below are examples of how taking it slow in skincare can really transform and maintain your skin’s health. They remind me of what I want to strive for in skincare (and life): less is more. Revisiting some of this content, plus the effects a simple skincare routine had on me, inspired me to make November a Slovember month.

Redditor’s Skincare Routine

This is the Reddit post that prompted me to write about slow skincare and truly turn November into Slowvember. After a course of accutane and an allergic reaction to tretinoin, the Redditor decided to take the Asian Beauty route. He used (and still uses) hydrating and soothing skincare to rid his skin of acne and take back his skin’s health. As you can see in the photos, his skin looks (literally) picture perfect. I’m so happy that he achieved skin clarity, at such a young age at that! It took me 15+ years… It’s worth pointing out that he also brings up the use of actives and how an abundant amount can destroy the integrity of our skin. It really puts into perspective that sometimes you don’t need an active to get the skin you want.

SimpleSkincareScience and Malezia


Malezia, a brand created by F.C. from SimpleSkincareScience, is another inspiration for slow skincare. I remember when he released his two step skincare routine and I was floored. What a dramatic improvement from just TWO products! When I discovered they were his own concoction and would be releasing a skincare line, I most definitely signed up on the pre-order list.

Last year I tried Malezia skincare products based on their skincare regimen. The regimen consists of a cleanser, Malezia’s 5% Urea Moisturizer and 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel. My skin looked so calm and clear, I was amazed how little product gave me such results. During this experiment, it seriously questioned what the products I was using were doing and what I truly wanted out of skincare.

From that point on, I tried to figure out what I did and did not need in my skincare routine. I was going through quite a plateau with skincare in 2021 so the Malezia skincare regimen helped me break out of that. I actually put myself to the test and decided to do a Low Buy Year for 2022.

Jennifer Myers

Jennifer Myers is a youtuber that has stuck with the same skincare routine – and products – for well over a decade.

What I like about Jennifer is that she advocates for health and wellness. Sure, tretinoin is great even in my experience and we both have Korean genetics to give us an advantage with well-aging. But to me, Jennifer’s skin is also a reflection of how she feels internally. If you check out her channel, she shares more on how she eats, exercises, as well as mindset. I’ve also learned how all of this plays a part in healthy skin, but more on that in a future post! The takeaway here is to take care of yourself on the inside, and the outside will reflect that.

My Slow Skincare Routine

Last week I shared in my instagram story what my skin looked like after doing a simple skincare routine. Cleanser, hydrating toner, moisturizer mixed with a barrier repair ointment. I was both ecstatic and upset with the results. Ecstatic because my skin looked great – clear, calm, even tone, and smooth. Upset because I have so many products that I do the same thing!

I have been doing this skincare routine almost every night after that allergic reaction. The couple of times I did this skincare routine in the day, I felt way more comfortable with my skin and didn’t find the need to reach for complexion makeup.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I know how it feels.

I know having a skin disease is hard both on a physicial and mental level. We just want to try anything to make it better. But sometimes the best thing is less.

5 Mindsets for Mental AND Skin Clarity!

This year is a Low Buy Year for me. I have been going through my skincare stash as much as possible to reduce the clutter. All of my empties for 2022 so far has been from my stash save one moisturizer I purchased this year. After seeing how great my skin has been looking with minimal skincare, I feel even more desperate to use up what I have. Truthfully, I’m really feeling a skincare burnout after having to empty so many products I own. But hopefully the Low Buy challenge I issued to myself this year will give me more peace in the future.

With that, I hope this post serves as a friendly reminder to take it slow. There are a lot of great deals out right now and I totally get how this month is an opportunity to pick up things you need and want to try. But for times when you feel overwhelmed by skincare, when you’re aiming to tackle your skin concern and don’t know where to start – start slow and simple.

xo, M

Low Buy Update #3: Rule Struggles, Hauling Habits, Less Makeup

We have finally entered the last 3 month stretch of 2022, so it is time for a low buy update! Please be sure to check out the following posts for further context:

Let’s Low Buy! My Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

Low Buy Update #1: 3 Month Check-In + Skincare Empties

Low Buy Update #2: 3-Month No Buy, Maximalist Skincare, My Colour Palette, Interests Beyond Skincare

Spring 2022 Skincare Empties

In short, I decided 2022 was going to be a low buy year. My primary goal was/is to use minimalism as a tool to help me declutter my skincare collection of 80-100+ products. I also want to achieve mental clarity and appreciate having more with less. I created rules in order to achieve these goals and hold myself accountable by sharing updates!

Now let’s get in to the 3-month update.

Many Newbies, Little Empties

I broke the rule of emptying a skincare item before opening a newbie – specifically with sunscreens. I currently had 8 open sunscreens the past 3 months and only emptied 1. If you’re wondering why you haven’t seen many sunscreen empties from me, that’s why. My sunscreen reviews do well on my channel and I have felt the pressure to put out multiple sunscreen review video. All that’s happened really is I overwhelm myself and then I end up growing a back-burner collection of skincare. Due to unopened sunscreens in my collection, I may not buy sunscreen for the rest of the year.

These past 3 months in particular I found myself struggling to finish up products. If I don’t find them interesting enough to use in my skincare routine, I don’t use it at all (even on my body).

What I’ve Learned From my Hauls

I have done 3 skincare hauls this year (so far). I have noticed a pattern – once I received the package, I use the products right away. There is both a pro and con to this habit:

  • Pro – I am using what I am buying and either consistently using it in my skincare routine or it is an item I rely on occasionally and serves a purpose in my skincare collection. So it is clear that the purchases I made were intentional.
  • Con – I forget about using up other items in my collection that I have little to no interest in (as I’ve just touched upon in the previous point). It then takes forever to use up, takes up space and bothers me that I never reach for it even though I’m enjoying my skincare routine as is with the newbies in my collection.

Overall, the past 3 purchases consisted of items I thought about using for a long time, how it’ll work with my skin needs and what I like using. I find I have no temptation for adding in skincare senselessly. I have learned that if it doesn’t suit my skin needs in the moment, I will not use it. When it comes to skincare reviews, consistency and interest in the product is key. If I’m not interested in the product, I don’t want to make the effort to review it.

Makeup No-Buy & Declutter

2022 is still a solid no-buy year for makeup. Actually, I have even decluttered more items from my collection. In my second low buy update, I talked about discovering my colour palette. This has been such a game-changer in my makeup routine as well as style. I discovered I am of a cool olive undertone. Ever since using colours that complement this, I have barely had a desire to reach for anything else. Previously, I used to express myself through makeup. I wore a lot of it and thought I would appear interesting that way. At this point in time, I understand myself more. I am able to express it more holistically rather than just through makeup.

After this epiphany, I decluttered more of my makeup stash. Fortunately, my sister and best friend from highschool were visiting! I was able to give them makeup that suited their colour palettes and makeup routines. Old makeup has already been discarded. I am keeping the untouched, good standing makeup for other friends to check out.

This discovery of being a cool colour palette doesn’t mean I discarded all my warm-tone makeup. I kept colours I like reaching for and work with my skin during warmer, sunnier months. It’s just good to know that my go-to makeup works with me all year round.

And that’s it for my third low buy update! How has your low buy year going? Leave comments down below!

xo, M

Low Buy Update #2: No-Buy, Maximalism, Colour Palette, Other Interests

Wow, has it been 3 months already? It’s time for another Low Buy update! Before you continue, please check out the below posts for more context about this one

Let’s Low Buy! My Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism
Low Buy Update #1: 3 Month Check-In + Skincare Empties
Spring 2022 Skincare Empties

6-Month Low Buy Update

3-Month No-Buy

I’m patting myself on the back, I haven’t purchased skincare in the past 3 months since I published my first skincare haul of 2022. The haul I posted back in April have been the only products I have bought this year so far. I’ve always looked at my skincare collection first when wanting to try something new.

The only temptation the past few months was on Instagram. I participated in giveaways of skincare bundles, but didn’t win anything πŸ˜›

Now that we’re in July, I emptied out a ton of serums including the Man:yo Bifida Biome Complex Ampoule. I am also nearing the end of Sioris My First Essener. Since I’m on a good emptying spree, I gave myself permission to buy some skincare. I already placed an order on YesStyle so stay tuned for another skincare haul post!

Maximalist Skincare Routine

Skincare routine from Winter 2021

For the past 1.5 years I have been attempting to minimize my skincare routine. My target was an average from 5 to 3 skincare items. I have tried many times to cut down on the number of products in my skincare routine. Alas, it never lasts long. I’ve come to accept that I like having a more elaborate skincare routine, as well as on hand products.

As someone who creates skincare content, I have experimented a lot in many realms of skincare. I have reaped the rewards in most instances – layers of hydration, tretinoin, chemical exfoliants, soothing creams, fermented essences and serums. I’ve come to understand what I like and what my skin likes. Unfortunately for my wallet, it really likes variety when it comes to skincare. I notice a difference in my skin’s quality and vibrance when I am not as high maintenance. I enjoy skincare in general so I’ll be sticking to my somewhat maximalist skincare routine and having those extra products on an as-need or feel-like-it basis.

Discovering My Colour Palette

In the makeup corner of the beauty world, I still have not purchased anything *pats self on back*. I almost broke my no-makeup buy streak recently. I was really tempted to buy popular cool toned lip colours from Rom&nd (Pink Tassel, Bare Grape, #Figfig). But I did the best thing possible – I shopped my collection. Through this, I discovered a treasure trove of lovely cool-toned colours that compliment my complexion.

I have actually been shopping my stash more frequently now that I am settled in a new apartment and have easy access to my collection. On occassion, I decluttered a makeup product here and there. I eventually noticed that majority of the decluttered makeup falls in the warm-toned spectrum. My suspicion for this warm-toned makeup declutter is that I stopped wearing medium-full coverage foundations. This, and tinted sunscreens that had a warm undertone and paired well with this makeup – i.e. never turning orange. I have been noticing more that all the warm-toned makeup I own turns slightly orange shortly after it makes contact with my skin. I revisited my Merit Beauty vs Current Makeup Collection video and even saw a difference. While both sides looked good, there was something about the slightly cool toned, Merity Beauty side that looked a bit better.

For the first time in my life, I did a very cool-toned makeup look. One with ashy browns and very purple berry colours… And gaddamn it looked good. Typically, I always stuck to mauves in winter and peach in summer. I have never ventured too far with the cool-toned makeup. To my surprise, cool-toned makeup suits my cool, olive undertone skin way more. I did a cool-toned look a few weekends ago for an event. Not once did I question the colour of the makeup and how cohesive the overall look was. I still have warm-toned makeup. I kept the ones that I find still look good on me especially in the warmer months, the colours that bring me joy.

Interests Beyond Skincare

Ever since reducing the noise of skincare on my social media and Youtube, I have been interested in more topics outside of skincare. A lot which focus on my self-growth.

Language Learning. I am currently learning Bulgarian and it’s really renewed my interest in language learning in general. Fun fact, I speak a bit of French (all Canadian kids have to take French class for a number of years) and I also learned Italian (forgot a lot of it, I’m a False Beginner again lol). I was taking Bulgarian classes before to give me a good schedule, but now I am attempting some self-studying.

Fitness. The time has finally come – I have been working out for 3 months straight, 3-4x a week! I first started with Shelley Darlington’s lockdown workout playlist at home. The last 2 months (and now this month of July) I have been going consistently. I have always liked the results I got and now that I’m in my 30s, I want to have a family and also live a healthy life with little to no problems. So all in all, it’s good that I finally got into the habit of going to the gym – willingly :).

Fashion. I’ve been watching a lot of informative videos on yin and yang in body types (i.e. Kibbe), essence, and colour analysis. Looking at my current wardrobe since doing a mass declutter, I have seen a pattern with the types of materials, silhouettes and colours I gravitate towards and it’s become a real “AHA” moment in my fashion development. I have been in uniform-required schooling and jobs for a good chunk of my life, so I feel like I’m finally understanding myself more through fashion.

It is just past 6 months into this Low Buy year, I feel like I’ve finally escaped the beauty trap. I lost my impulsivity to buy and I don’t have FOMO for new releases. I also stopped watching a lot of skincare and makeup content. This made up a bulk of my social media for years and added fuel to my unnecessary spending. Now, the vicious cycle of spending in the beautysphere has come to a halt. Seeing how I’ve developed in the past 6 months is a real testament to that.

How’s your low buy year going? Have you also been decluttering, picking up additional interests, discovering you’re green? Let me know!

xo, M

Low Buy Update #1: 3 Month Check-In + Skincare Empties

Spring is finally here, that means it’s time for a check-in to see how well I’m progressing with my Low Buy 2022 Challenge after 3 months – and skincare empties, of course!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my blog post Let’s Low Buy 2022 – here I write about why I am doing this challenge, what I hope to achieve, my rules, and how I am going to hold myself accountable. As a random person on the internet who is sharing this Low Buy challenge, the main way I am publicly holding myself accountable is by doing seasonal (3-month) check-ins; I talk about my successes and challenges with the challenge, as well as sharing all my skincare empties!

3 Months of Low Buying – How It’s Going So Far

2022 is flying by – I can’t believe it’s already April as I sit down and write this post! Although it’s been a speedy 3 months, I feel that the Low Buy challenge for the most part has been rather successful.

No More Freebies

I have been contacted by various PR companies and brands for campaigns, to which I respectfully declined. I was interested in a few of them, but right now I really want to focus on the goal at hand!

Remove Temptations

This rule has been the most successful thus far. For example, I did not even know the Sephora VIB Sale was taking place until a few youtubers I watch talked about it! I unsubscribed from Sephora’s newsletter a while ago, as well as unfollowed various brand social media accounts and uninstalled shopping apps. The only purchases I have made this year (stay tuned) have been skincare products that are directly replacing an empty in my skincare routine and/or a skincare product I keep on rotation for emergency breakout/impaired skin barrier days.

Let it Marinate

I have not impulse shopped since Deciem’s Black Friday sale of 2021 *pat on back*. Instead, I have created a wishlist of skincare products I am very interested in! If I ever feel the urge to buy something, I first take a look at my skincare routine as well as collection to make sure the item I want to purchase is unique and not similar to something I already have.

Empty Before Newbie

This has been the more challenging rule out of the 5 I have created for this Low Buy! I am a lover of skincare, and as someone who does reviews every so often, I like drawing comparisons. I like saving the skincare item I like when opening a new product because in the off-chance I don’t like the newer one, I have the original to fall back on if I decide to use up the new one or give it away. There are also items I have opened up that are quite similar, but to me their primary function is different. Further tangent on this in the video!

No Makeup

The easiest rule so far! I have not felt the need to purchase any makeup because I have been happy and content with my current collection. I think I’ll be downsizing it further soon!

Skincare Empties

The visual of how my Low Buy challenge is progressing – skincare empties! Below is a list of the empties names and links. Please note that products marked with an “*” indicates a PR item or gift. Links marked with “*” indicate an affiliate link – by clicking on this link and making a purchase, I earn a small commission. MICHXMASH Disclosure

Bioderma H2O Hydrabio Micellar Water
* https://rstyle.me/+ATLVDyAd1DbDVm7hWAduAw

Geek & Gorgeous Jelly Joker Low pH Gentle Cleanser
* https://iaff.geekandgorgeous.com/118-11-3-15.html

Bonajour Eggplant Daily BHA Toner
* https://rstyle.me/+x2WxopcSUxsVoPHwttcfEg

Paula’s Choice Clear Acne Body Spray
* https://rstyle.me/+71SiyGmURtLOQC29SmRI1A

* Rovectin Biome Ampoule
* https://rstyle.me/+k6oUegjchUeTt4TGsIRosw

The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides 1%
* https://rstyle.me/+-qLkCsCdOXyoB3OHzKw1Fw

* Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+N8q_MV80aDrGFVVOKsFThg

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+7u2rLKkhbVyoXyLn-4vsNw

* Charcoal & Rose Petals Body Butter

Shyne Body Butter Island Vanilla
* https://rstyle.me/+xgllPISnxv4UiISjqnHbIQ

Eucerin Rich Replenishing Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+BvnY7QLpGvS3PIAJdgryxA

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
* https://rstyle.me/+HEwhGhvxihj981FmuRl8BA

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume
* https://rstyle.me/+53FftnxpnGicuzKJTUhk8Q

La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ Ultra Fluid Invisible Finish Lotion
* https://rstyle.me/+e6I8cgrNI5PIHKNfONPCiQ

SVR Sun Secure Mousse Cream SPF 50

And that’s all for my first Low Buy update! How has yours been going so far? Any rules working for you, or what do you find challenging? Let me know in the comments down below!

xo, M

My Low Buy Rules for 2022 | Journey to Minimalism

I mentioned that I’ve veen inspired by minimalism content in my first declutter video. It peaked my interest because in 2021 I felt very overwhelmed and frustrated with skincare. At the time, I coudn’t really figure out why.

I’ve come to realize that it was due to a few things:

  • I felt discontent about my skin,
  • I had an accumulation of unused skincare products I no longer cared for,
  • I lacked motivation to write/film anything,
  • I just felt “meh.”

Like all lows, there’s only going up! I eventually got over my rut and got my groove back. This is where the point of this post begins!

My 2021 end-of-year faves video featured 15 products, all new products I purchased this year. What you don’t know is that in the background I have 50-80+ other skincare items – opened, unopened, expired, forgotten.

That doesn’t factor in my hair and body products, gadgets, makeup, nail polish. At first I thought it was just PR items. Stuff sent to me that I didn’t give away and wanted to keep. When I sat down and looked through the items, 90% or more were purchased by me.

For those of you new to my corner of the internet, my name is Michelle. I started my blog and YouTube channel to not only review skincare products, but to share my clear skin journey. I want to share with the world that you’re not alone in the struggle to clear skin. My content was (and still is) supposed to be my creative outlet, something fun.


I got excited when brands started reaching out for PR opportunities. I also participated in review giveaways for online retailers. But then this all started to feel like a job. So I started hauling skincare more frequently and taking on PR opportunities. I felt like I needed to be consistent with my “work”. And this feeling of it being a second job is what began my discontent. I couldn’t keep track of my collection and everything started to feel the same. All the while, I had this underlying feeling that I was becoming a place for free labour and advertisement.

Now these companies are not to blame, I was the one who agreed to these terms. I agreed to accept the product in exchange for review, to meet a deadline. I’ve also never felt negative about affiliates like Wishtrend. I’ve always been able to take my time with reviews and I’ve given a fare share of negative ones. I also found some great products through PR in general.

But I did have to put other skincare on the backburner for these reviews (my purchases) because I do want to thoroughly test products before sharing my thoughts with you all. However this has now lead to me having what I think is an absurd amount of skincare for one person. Most I purchased, have been opened and I don’t know if I can use them all up in a timely manner while trying to test out products to review.

So I have decided that for 2022 I am going to do a low buy. Here are my low buy rules to help reduce my skincare spending.

Why I’m doing a Low Buy for 2022

Empties from 2019

Declutter Backburner Beauty Products

Simply put, I want to reduce the products I have. I have come to know my likes and dislikes. It’s obvious what I like reaching for and what I forgot existed. It’s not good to buy new products and put older ones on the backburner… Let them be unused, expire, and ultimate become unnecessary waste.

Have Mental Clarity

I was surrounded by stuff that I felt pressured to create content about but wasn’t quite ready to share my thoughts on. I’ve come to understand what my testing/reviewing habits and methods are. Having a bulk of opened, unused skincare confused my direction. I wasn’t enjoying blogging and filming anymore. I felt like I was surrounded by stuff and I didn’t know where to begin. I’m hoping by decluttering, reducing my spending, I will have better direction and organization with my content in the future. I want to bring back more joy I had in skincare.

Have More with Less

I am also hoping to use minimalism to lower my reliance and need for products. Don’t get me wrong, my skincare is my self-care and applying makeup feels therapeutic. But I don’t want to feel a heavy reliance and be surrounded things in general to feel whole. It’s funny… I used to love seeing all my products on the bathroom counter and my vanity. Now, I just want clear surfaces and a bin of my trusty go-tos.

My Low Buy Rules for 2022

Press Samples from Wishtrend.

No More Freebies

I will not be accepting any more PR, gifts, participating in review giveaways, until I reduce my current collection. Freebies will be at a halt unless:

  • I get offered an item I planned on purchasing/repurchasing, or
  • if it was gifted by a family member/friend.

Remove Temptations

Avoid what caused me to buy a lot in the first place! This all falls under “Online Window Shopping” because it’s so easy nowadays to access online retailers and make a purchase.

  • Unsubscribe to emails – Always contains FOMO content like limited time deals, free shipping, limited stock.
  • Unfollow social media accounts – I was moreso effected by brand accounts themselves for they created the prettiest content of their products, and would have giveaways.
  • Uninstall shopping apps – I’ve already removed a couple from my phone, but the biggest one was Amazon. Us North Americans will know, that Prime delivery is dangerous for impulse shopping!
  • Remove myself from my device when I’m “bored” shopping – If I have spare time at work or am feeling bored in general, I take a breather and literally look outside, take a walk, do a chore, something other than mindlessly shop.

Let it Marinate

Prevent impulse buying, give yourself time to think about this upcoming purchase. It can be 24 hours minimum up to a week to evaluate this. During that time, check your current collection to make sure you’re not doubling up on something already.

Empty Before Newbie

Be close to finishing what I own before considering purchasing something, or using up what’s in my skincare stash first!

No Makeup

I have been on a foundation free kick since 2019. It’s helped me come to like my face and skin more for what it is. I hauled makeup in 2021 and they cater to my current aesthetic. Having said that, I don’t find a need to want more and am very content shopping my stash. The only items I would consider replacing are brow gel and mascara. But even then I haven’t worn mascara in a long time!

How I Will Hold Myself Accountable to my Low Buy Rules

Is me

As a content creator, how will my audience know I am holding myself accountable? I want those of you reading/watching to be in the know, especially if you feel like you’re in the same boat as I am.

Seasonal Empties + Check In

No better way to show I decluttered and used up my existing stash than to do empties videos! Instead of making it a monthly thing, seasonal seems appropriate. With the seasonal empties I’ll also touch upon my progress in general and how I’m feeling about the Low Buy year.

Empties and Newbies

This type of content will showcase what’s replacing what in my skincare routine. I find it will be a good way for to keep track as to what I’m using. It’ll also point out whether the newbies are from my stash or purchases.

Speak to Someone Before a Purchase

I always speak to my husband before I pull the trigger and make a purchase. I have noticed in recent times however that I’m quite silent about my skincare hauls. He always seemed surprised by the packages we had to pick up at our local post office πŸ˜€ He’s typically pretty supportive of my purchases, so I know I can count on him to tell me when I’m going out of line.

So friends, will you be doing a low buy year with me? Do you also cave to the skincare/makeup/beauty craze? If so, I hope my personal low buy rules for 2022 help you out as well.

Also – Happy New Year! Stay positive, be healthy, say “I love you” to your family and friends.

xo, M